As Spring fever hits the air and March Madness gives sport enthusiasts something to worship, car dealerships are facing shortages in their hottest products.
Pent-up demand and our aging vehicle fleet patched together as the economy has worn our tread bald, is driving consumers to re-evaluate putting money into costly repairs. Compounding the new car sales loggerjam is the lack of big incentives, caused by tight inventory controls.
The KIA, Hyundai, Audi, Jeep, Jaguar, BMW, Lexus and Toyota manufacturers are desperately balancing the need to sell cars for a profit with the lack of inventory in key models.
KIA and Hyundai have it BAD, lacking Soul, Optima, Forte, Sportage, Sorento, Sonata, Elantra,all vehicles sporting great fuel economy, reasonable prices, long warranties. As fuel prices increase buyers are reconsidering the big suv in favor of the Sportage, CRV, RAV, Patriot, and Tucson. Land Rover has the new Evoque crossover suv, but the latest ratings from Consumer Reports have been misleading and bear closer scrutiny. As this part of the market continues to grow, look for Porsche to add their own mini-suv called the MACAN in 2013.
This season also brings some new small models including the Fiat Abarth, Mini convertible, Evoque from Land Rover, Porsche: 911 and Boxster remake coming in May.
I will be back with in-depth reviews over the next few weeks, but in the meantime check out the opinions of other scribes on these various cars.
My tips for 2012 NEW car shopping during this period is…
1. Be flexible on color and feature lists.
2. Have a second or third vehicle model choice ready.
3. If you are determined to have the exact color and features, expect to order the car and wait 7-12 weeks. The rebate programs may change during the wait, but they could improve in your favor as production increases.
4. Be realistic about your credit situation. A 600 score does not warrant a better than 15% interest rate, no matter how good your credit was once. Advertised Lease programs usually require a 740 score. expect to pay more if your credit won’t qualify. Lending is not the dealers perogative, it’s up to the bank to judge your risk.
5. Have 20% cash down. The banks are not funding sales tax, warranties and other extras.
6. Get GAP protection if you are putting minimal down payment and/or have a credit score lower than 680.
For more info contact me and I’ll help you find the right deal for your budget and transportation needs. An autobroker can save you money,hassles and time, if you pick the right one.